Welcome to The Week in Consumer Packaged Goods, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the CPG space.
Coca-Cola partners with Pernod Ricard to launch ready-to-drink beverage Absolut & Sprite
With ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages the fastest-growing spirits category in revenue and volume, per a 2022 Distilled Spirits Council report (via CNBC), the Coca-Cola Company and premium spirits company Pernod Ricard — both based in Atlanta — have announced plans to jointly launch their own RTD offering. Called Absolut & Sprite, the cocktail is a combination of, yes, Absolut Vodka and Sprite. The beverage will be available in two versions — one made with regular Sprite, the other with Sprite Zero Sugar — that are planned for release in early 2024 in select European countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The canned cocktail won’t be a first for Coca-Cola, which released a Fresca mixed cocktail in 2022 and an RTD Jack & Coke made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey earlier this year.
It is all part of an effort by Coke “to develop its portfolio as a total beverage company,” Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO James Quincey said in a statement. The launch of Absolut & Sprite is also reflective of a larger strategy by Coca-Cola “to take a well-known brand and combine it with another iconic one,” Food Dive’s Christopher Doering writes. “This allows the new product to stand out on a crowded ready-to-drink shelf and gives it instant credibility.”
MAC, Dove ranked most inclusive beauty brands in inaugural SeeMe Index
In the first-of-its-kind survey, MAC Cosmetics and Dove were ranked the “most inclusive” beauty brands, Ad Age’s Erika Wheless reports. The inaugural SeeMe Index assessed the inclusivity efforts of 40 of the world’s largest beauty brands based on ads and products, as well as their diversity, equity and inclusion commitments. Developed by former beauty industry professionals and Google executives Jason Klein and Asha Shivaji, the index is designed to fill in crucial assessment gaps for these companies.
“We know that beauty brands are trying to be inclusive, but there is a lack of data and measurement to know if they are hitting a benchmark,” Klein, co-founder and COO of the SeeMe Index, told Wheless.
Of the 40 brands assessed, just eight received 200 points or more, earning the SeeMe Index’s “seal of approval.”
ICYMI: Reebok appoints Shaquille O’Neal President of Basketball in push to re-enter category
In line with its plans to re-enter the performance basketball shoe category, earlier this month Reebok announced the appointment of retired NBA legend and longtime brand partner Shaquille O’Neal as the company’s first President of Basketball, with Allen Iverson serving as Vice President. O’Neal will “lead the brand’s basketball category strategy and cultivate partnerships with athletes and organizations,” while Iverson will “help drive player recruitment, grassroots and community-based initiatives, and athlete activations like the Iverson Classic,” the company said in a statement.
With its first shoes in this new push expected to hit shelves in 2025, Reebok is hoping to leverage O’Neal’s history with the brand and his iconic status to help Reebok regain its footing among basketball players and fans, Pat Benson of Sports Illustrated reports. “His influence in the business world and pop culture zeitgeist was just as impactful as his powerful low-post moves,” notes Benson, adding that “most of O’Neal’s success off the court can be traced back to his historic signature [Reebok] sneaker deal as a rookie before the 1992-93 NBA season.”